Magnús Sigurðsson, owner and driver of the Formula Offroad car “Cube” will be participating in the 14th annual King of the Hammers in February! King of the Hammers is one of the biggest Off-Road Festivals in the world and is it held in the desert in Johnson Valley in California. The event is a whole week and do they race in several races like; Can-Am Motorsports UTV King of the Hammers, the Shootout, the Every Man Challenge, the Toyo Desert Invitational (T1 trucks), the Nitto King of the Hammers Ultra4 race, PLUS the King of the Motos. Around 100.000 people gather together in the desert to have fun and race! (more info)
Magnús and his team decided that now is the time for a pure Icelandic Formula Offroad car participates in this event for the first time ever. When they shipped the cars over for our 4th annual Formula Offroad race in Bikini Bottoms Off-Road Park, the team packed and shipped everything they needed for that race and the KOH race, and when the race in Bikini Bottoms finished the Cube was left behind.
The team flew to Memphis to get the car ready for the big race because he wasn’t up to the standards they set for the race. They have been working around the clock to upgrade Cube so it will be legal to race the KOH.
We have to fix the car quite a lot to withstand the regulations, also so the car can handle this type of race. The tracks are a mix between high-speed “Dakar-Racing” or desert racing and rock crawling.
They’ve upgraded their shocks to ORI STX with Integral Reservoir that has 12″ travel and can handle the rough drive through the desert. They replaced the transfer case to a transfer case with low range gears because it says in the rules that they must have it. The differential ratio was lowered from 4:88 to 5:29 so Cube can crawl the rocks better. The transmission now got 3 gears so the driver can gain more speed in the long courses. Due to the fact that the KOH race has much longer tracks than they are used to in Formula Offroad the team had to enlargen the fuel tank to 62L tank and have an extra one if that isn’t enough.
We’ll see when we go for a test drive before the race how fuel efficient Cube is. But just to be safe we ordered 125 gallons of E85 fuel.
The super scoopers are placed upon the wall for a week because Cube will be running a 40″ Nitto Mud Grapple tires on 17″ Raceline Beadlock aluminum wheels. They have 2 spare tires with them and one spare wheel, if something would go wrong.
Regulations clearly say that all racers must have both front and rear bumper that surpasses the wheels so the team put some elbow grease to it and welded together the bumpers. They’ve also added a 3600kg (7936 lbs) Comeup winch that they got from Arctic Trucks. The winch they need to help them get over the rock crawling part of the courses. LED lights from “AB Varahlutir” were mounted on the front bumper and a LED bar, brake – and warning lights were mounted in the rear. It’s also mandatory to have a horn so they put that in there as well.
A muffler was added to the car as well due to the regulations.
With the long desert drive (approx. 200 miles) the team wants everything to be cooled properly so they’ve added extra-coolers to the transmission, engine oil, and the hydraulic steering system, they’ve also enlargened the radiator for the engine so that won’t overheat.
In the desert, there is no cellphone signal and therefore the team has put a VHF radio in Cube and the service truck to keep communication open between team and driver. The KOH staff puts a GPS receiver on the roof of all the racecars so they and the audience can keep track of the cars in the desert and watch them race on social media. The team also put a tablet in the car with a Bluetooth GPS antenna with the course map loaded in it so the driver will know his way around the tracks and won’t get lost.
We decided to use 2,4L K24 engine with stronger sleeves and we hope we get it delivered to us before the race. There has been some delays getting the engine. We will have the traditional setup, 650 hp. We have a new turbine and have put window net both side of the car to protect the driver. Just so nothing enters the car if he rolls over.
To make sure the driver doesn’t overheat they installed an air filter system for the driver’s helmet so he can see where he is going and focus on his driving without worrying about the heat or dust. The heat can be overwhelming dropping down to 32°f up to 86°f within a few hours.
During the race, the service team can assist the driver in three designated pit-stop areas that are scattered around the tracks 10 – 40 miles apart. In those areas, they can refill the fuel tank and perform minor repairs. The contestants have 13 hours to finish the race so their run is valid. Usually, they start around 120 – 150 cars but only 60 finish the time and 30 – 40 cars finish within the 13-hour timeframe.
Before Magnús can participate in the big race he must qualify first in his class which takes place Tuesday, Feb 4th at 08:00 AM and if he qualifies he will start racing on Friday, Feb 7th at 07:00 AM.
You can keep up with the team on their journey to KOH on Snapchat! Please click HERE to add them.